Tag: Blessed Virgin Mary 

8 Things You Need to Know About the Immaculate Conception

8 Things You Need to Know About the Immaculate Conception

Here are 8 things you need to know about the teaching and the way we celebrate it.

1. Who does the Immaculate Conception refer to?

There’s a popular idea that it refers to Jesus’ conception by the Virgin Mary.

It doesn’t.

Instead, it refers to the special way in which the Virgin Mary herself was conceived.

This conception was not virginal. (That is, she had a human father as well as a human mother.) But it was special and unique in another way. . . .

2. What is the Immaculate Conception?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it this way:

490 To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

3. Does this mean Mary never sinned?

Yes. Because of the way redemption was applied to Mary at the moment of her conception, she not only was protected from contracting original sin but also personal sin. The Catechism explains:

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”. By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. “Let it be done to me according to your word. . .”

4. Does this mean Mary didn’t need Jesus to die on the Cross for her?

No. What we’ve already quoted states that Mary was immaculately conceived as part of her being “full of grace” and thus “redeemed from the moment of her conception” by “a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race.”

The Catechism goes on to state:

492 The “splendour of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

508 From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. “Full of grace”, Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption” (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.

5. How does this make Mary a parallel of Eve?

Adam and Eve were both created immaculate–without original sin or its stain. They fell from grace, and through them mankind was bound to sin.

Christ and Mary were also conceived immaculate. They remained faithful, and through them mankind was redeemed from sin.

Christ is thus the New Adam, and Mary the New Eve.

The Catechism notes:

494 . . . As St. Irenaeus says, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.” Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary “the Mother of the living” and frequently claim: “Death through Eve, life through Mary.”

6. How does this make Mary an icon of our own destiny?

Those who die in God’s friendship and thus go to heaven will be freed from all sin and stain of sin. We will thus all be rendered “immaculate” (Latin, immaculatus = “stainless”) if we remain faithful to God.

Even in this life, God purifies us and trains us in holiness and, if we die in his friendship but imperfectly purified, he will purify us in purgatory and render us immaculate.

By giving Mary this grace from the first moment of her conception, God showed us an image of our own destiny. He shows us that this is possible for humans by his grace.

John Paul II noted:

In contemplating this mystery in a Marian perspective, we can say that “Mary, at the side of her Son, is the most perfect image of freedom and of the liberation of humanity and of the universe. It is to her as Mother and Model that the Church must look in order to understand in its completeness the meaning of her own mission” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Libertatis conscientia, 22 March, 1986, n. 97; cf. Redemptoris Mater, n. 37).

Let us fix our gaze, then, on Mary, the icon of the pilgrim Church in the wilderness of history but on her way to the glorious destination of the heavenly Jerusalem, where she [the Church] will shine as the Bride of the Lamb, Christ the Lord

7. Was it necessary for God to make Mary immaculate at her conception so that she could be Jesus’ mother?

No. The Church only speaks of the Immaculate Conception as something that was “fitting,” something that made Mary a “fit habitation” (i.e., suitable dwelling) for the Son of God, not something that was necessary. Thus in preparing to define the dogma, Pope Pius IX stated:

And hence they [the Church Fathers] affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace. . . .

For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness

8. How do we celebrate the Immaculate Conception today?

In the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, December 8th is the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In the United States and in a number of other countries, it is a holy day of obligation.

When December 8th falls on Saturday, the precept of attending Mass is still observed in the United States, even though it will mean going to Mass two days in a row (since every Sunday is also a holy day of obligation)

Mary The New Eve- The book of Revelation Reveals

Mary The New Eve- The book of Revelation Reveals

Image result for images of a Mary and Old Eve
Mary and the Angel Gabriel during her visitation

Glory to Jesus, Honour To Mary and Joseph

The Fall of Man

God created man and put them in the most beautiful garden faction by Himself (God). Man was giving the authority to take care and tender it. Man had the nature of God; to think and act like God. God saw that man (Adam) was alone with no companion. Hence, God made Eve.

The coming of Eve brought the unexpected fall to man. When man fell, God started another plan for the redemption of man. The submission of Eve to the Snake caused the fall man. Eve Ate and gave Adam who failed to inquire from God before eating and so Man fell from the very nature God gave us

When man fell, he lost all his entitlement to the garden as well as the gardener to the most beautiful garden in the world. Fear, Lies and unfaithfulness entered the live of a man

The Redemption of Man

God knew the only way to redeem man back to that formal position will require a woman’s seed. So, God created a woman that will that seed that will redeem man back to the very nature of God. The woman’s name was Mary. To defeat darkness, the seed must be free from Sin. Hence, the woman was born immaculate to bring forth her seed immaculate- the only way. The Book of Rev 12. reveals a woman, whose dress was the Sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head, was soon to give birth.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived and born a child whose name according the Prophet Isaiah was Prince of Peace, Emmanuel (God with us) etc. After the Birth of Jesus, Joseph took Mary and the Child away from King Herod who sort after the Child to Kill. This was the manifestation of Rev 12. about the dragon waiting to kill the Baby after birth.

Mary New Eve and old Eve
Mary as the New Eve crushing the head of the serpent and The Old Eve being deceived by Satan

Comparison between Eve and Mary as the new Eve

  1. Eve failed to complement Adam in the tendering of the garden and help him dominate the earth and fill it with her seed. Her seed was corrupted before his manifestation. Mary, in the other hand, succeeded in the God given plan to have her seed born without sin
  2.  Mary as the new Eve submitted to the plan of God when she said, “Let it be done unto me according your will”, to the Angel who visited her with the greetings,”Hail Mary, full of Grace,the LORD is with You..”. The old Eve failed to help man dominate rather become the instrument for the fall of man.
  3. Through Eve, Curse and death came into the world and Through Mary, Life and resurrection was restored into the Word
  4. Mary brought forth Jesus, the Saviour of the world  while Eve brought down the Man, who is the father of the World
How old was Mary when she gave birth to baby Jesus?

How old was Mary when she gave birth to baby Jesus?

 

Luke 1 : 26-35 

…..the  angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,  to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and  the virgin’s name was Mary. 
And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favoured one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 
Then  the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found  favour with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,  and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of  the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his  father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his  kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How  can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said  to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of  the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will  be called holy, the Son of God….

Mt.1,18 “Now this is how  the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed  to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child  through the holy Spirit.”

 

Her age:

It is very clear  that Mary was betrothed to Joseph and marriage was imminent.  The usual  age for marriage under Jewish law is 13 for boys, 12 for girls.   Considering the circumstances described in the Gospel and giving enough  weight to Jewish practices 2000 years back Mary was 13 when angel  Gabriel appeared before her.  Please also note that Mary was not  subjected to a physical relation with God.  According to our best knowledge she was 14 at the time of giving birth to Jesus.

According to Jewish tradition in those days, consummation of marriage usually happened as soon as the girl entered puberty and started menstruating. Even though Mary conceived Jesus miraculously, I’m sure God stuck to the normal timeline for these things. So Mary could have been anywhere between 10 to 14 years old when she conceived and then gave birth nine months later. Personally, I think she was probably around 12 or 13.

 

The great Jesuit, Francisco Suárez (1548-1617), who is considered the father of systematic Mariology, provides a survey of the Church Fathers and theologians on this issue in his 1592 treatise, “On the Mysteries of the Life of Christ.” Suárez reports the consensus to be that Mary was around 14 when she conceived Jesus.

Why is the rosary so important? Let’s Explore

Why is the rosary so important? Let’s Explore

One of the most important prayer that is so dear to the hearts of every Catholics is the Rosary. It is a powerful prayer of intercession to the Blessed Mother. Praying the rosary is promoted as a means of strengthening one’s faith, resisting evil, growing spiritually, and generally benefiting society

History of the Rosary

The word rosary comes from Latin and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. If you were to ask what object is most emblematic of Catholics, people would probably say, “The rosary.” Catholics ask the Blessed Mother to bring their prayers to Her Divine Son and plead for His aid. Catholics bring Rosary intentions to Mary with the hope that their request will be answered

The Rosary as a Prayer

The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers. First are the introductory prayers: one Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), three Hail Mary’s (Ave’s) and one Glory Be (Glori Patri).

The first prayer in the Rosary is the Apostles’ Creed. It is called the Apostles’ Creed not because it was composed by the apostles themselves, but because it expresses their teachings. The original form of the creed came into use around A.D. 125, and the present form dates from the 400s. It reads:

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”

Protestants, when they say the prayer, refer to the (lower-cased) “holy catholic church,” using “catholic” to refer to the universal church, not implying any connection with the (upper-case) Catholic Church, which is based in Rome. This is despite the fact that the term “catholic” was already used to refer to a particular, visible Church by the second century and has already lost its broader meaning of “universal. Despite these differences, Protestants embrace the Apostles’ Creed without reluctance, seeing it as embodying basic Christian truths as they understand them.

The next prayer in the rosary is Our Father or the Pater Noster (from its opening words in Latin). This is also known as the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is even more acceptable to Protestants because Jesus Himself taught it to His disciples. It is given in the Bible in two slightly difference versions, the first referenced in Matthew 6:9-13 and the second referenced in Luke 11:2-4. The one given in Matthew is the one commonly said.

The following prayer in the Rosary is the Hail Mary which is really at the center of the devotion. It is a prayer to Mary. While many Protestants assume it’s unbiblical, it does have roots in Scripture. The prayer begins, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” This is the same greeting the angel Gabriel gave Mary in Luke 1:28. The next part reads:

“Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of the womb, Jesus.” This was what Mary’s cousin Elizabeth said to her in Luke 1:42. The only thing that has been added to these two verses is the names “Jesus” and “Mary.” The second part of the Hail Mary is not taken straight from Scripture, but it is biblical in the thoughts it expresses. It reads: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.”

The forth prayer in the rosary is the Glory Be, sometimes called the Gloria or Gloria Patri. This reads:

“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As is it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” The Gloria is a brief of praise in which all Christians can join.

Finally, the rosary ends with the closing prayer. This is called the Hail Queen (Salve Regina), sometimes called the Hail Holy Queen. It is the most commonly recited prayer in the praise of Mary, after the Hail Mary itself. It generally reads:

“Hall holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

The Rosary is the whole story of Jesus about coming into the world through a young woman, whose name is Mary as Isaiah prophesied. It started with the Annunciation by Angel Gabriel in Luke 1:28 down to death and Resurrection even up to his Ascension. Its a powerful meditation tool for our life.